This month is National Home Security Month (NHSM) which is a timely reminder that static caravans have one major thing in common with more conventional properties – they are both potential targets for burglars and other criminals.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to deter these criminals.
A quick review of burglar’s psychology
Before looking at some of the concrete measures you might be able to take to better protect your property, it’s worth thinking a little about the typical burglar’s inclination.
The vast majority of such criminals are opportunist. That means they are looking for spontaneous opportunities to easily access a static caravan in order to steal the contents.
As a result, they are always on the lookout for things such as open doors and windows, tools left lying around outside (which might be used to gain entry) and potential access points that appear to have no or only limited security.
Anything you do to visibly secure your caravan is likely to deter large numbers of potential burglars. They will typically move on, looking for caravans that are more vulnerable, meaning less risk of discovery.
So it only makes sense to install approved professional locks and bolts on all of your doors and windows and to make sure that you don’t help burglars unintentionally by leaving tools lying around outside which they might otherwise use against those same security bolts.
You also have the option of installing (or having installed), solutions involving a combination of burglar alarms and cameras.
Burglar alarms have been around for a long time and are now very sophisticated. More recently, cameras and video technology have been added to them.
Today the cameras are very small and easy to hide around your caravan. Some such as Blink (an Amazon company) can link directly to the internet and will notify you on your phone if they’ve detected someone moving around your property when it should be empty. They may even be able to use infrared sensors to detect movement in the dark and to film the intruders!
These types of solutions may be installed on a DIY basis or by a professional security solutions provider. Some solutions providers might augment their provision of security systems with regular patrols and rapid response services.
Some static caravan insurance providers may require you to take certain minimum security precautions.
Requirements for you to fit locks and bolts to certain minimum standards might be regularly found in policies. In some cases, policies might also require you to use more advanced solutions and in and some instances they may also extend their specified security conditions to include aspects of the services provided by the site’s owners.
Few if any static caravan owners wish to consider trying to turn their property into an impenetrable citadel. However, a balance must be struck between avoiding doing so and making it terrifyingly easy for thieves to enter.
The level of the measures you choose to adopt will be driven partly by any requirements that might be specified in your static caravan insurance policy and perhaps the extent to which you wish to ensure that the contents of your static are protected.
If you have any doubts about the potential solutions available to you, it would be worth speaking with a local intrusion prevention specialist.
For many owners, their touring caravan is almost like part of the family. It’s indispensable in helping to get out and about and making the most of that precious leisure time.
That’s why many wish to protect their caravan through appropriate touring caravan insurance. However, insurance isn’t a subject that everybody naturally takes to and as a result, sometimes it’s nice to have a little assistance in finding a suitable solution to your touring caravan insurance needs.
This is an area where we at Cover4Caravans can assist.
Just what is touring caravan insurance?
When you own a caravan, you’ll typically face a number of potential risks. Broadly speaking, they will fall into one of the following categories:
- someone doing something illegal to it – that might include unpleasant things such as burglary or the theft of the entire caravan;
- damage caused by forces of nature beyond your control, such as storms, floods and so on;
- being involved in an accident of your own making;
- compensation-seeking claims from third parties that have suffered injury as a result of your caravan or experienced damage to their property for similar reasons.
The upshot of all these types of circumstances might be that you will be left facing some very substantial bills. There are touring caravan insurance companies who offer special policies providing cover for these sorts of eventualities.
Choosing an appropriate policy
Although there are large numbers of touring caravan insurance companies, their products may be very different.
Some caravan owners might be inclined to simply choose between them based on the advertised cheapest price. In our opinion, that’s typically a mistake.
It’s a simple fact of life that in the event you have to call upon your insurance cover for help, the last thing you will be thinking about under those circumstances is how much it originally cost. Instead, you’ll be 100% focused on just what your policy covers and whether or not you will be able to get your claim approved.
Therefore it seems logical that’s what you should concentrate on when initially selecting your policy rather than the headline price.
Interpreting caravan insurance policies
It isn’t a question of one policy being good and another one bad. It’s more about matching your exact circumstances and requirements to a suitable policy.
To give an illustration, consider what might happen should your caravan be stolen.
Policies might differ significantly in how they will respond, including:
- new-for-old caravan replacement for vehicles that are no more than two years old and which have had a single owner since new;
- new-for-old replacement for caravans up to five years old but again, only if you have been the sole owner since new;
- offering only market valuation compensation;
- as we provide, new-for-old replacement for caravans up to five years old, irrespective of how many previous owners they may have had.
That is just one example of many such considerations that might apply when you are reviewing the policies offered by touring caravan insurance companies.
Do you feel comfortable reviewing different insurance policies?
In our experience, not everyone has the time or inclination to conduct an in-depth review of a number of competing policies. As a result, selections can sometimes be rushed and that might be something that you’ll regret at your leisure in the event of a claim.
There is an alternative – and that is to allow us to assist you in selecting cover that is suitable for your situation and which balances pricing against the appropriateness of the cover provided.
Why not contact us to find out more?
Go on admit it – if you own a caravan, you’re as likely to be fascinated by the all the latest nifty gadgets as the next man or woman.
Each year sees the launch of a new crop of accessories and devices that many a caravanner regards as a gadget to die for. Some stand the test of time and prove their usefulness – or even indispensability – for many years to come; others might turn out to have been little more than a passing fad and brief flash in the pan.
So, here is our pick of the nifty caravan gadgets which appeared on the market in 2018 – if you missed any of them this glorious past summer, new, improved versions are almost certain to hit the stores next season.
BioLite Camping Lamp
The BioLite Camping Lamp is no ordinary torch – though it is that too. It also doubles as a lantern that can be used inside or outside your caravan, made into a string of fairy lights or provide a power-hub for re-charging any number of gadgets and devices via its USB plug.
The company also makes a range of solar-powered energy packs – designed to provide lighting and power in any emergency.
Portable solar panel
With their Nomad 7 solar panel, Goal Zero have produced a lightweight and ultra-portable power pack to delight even the most fiendishly nerdy electronic gadget freak.
The foldable system is designed to make the most of solar energy charging for your mobile phone – and a host of other electronic gadgets – even when sunlight is variable or unpredictable. There is even an inbuilt LED indicator to tell you the strength of prevailing solar conditions.
For ease of use, the Nomad 7 also comes with a detachable kickstand.
Portable washing “machines”
Few touring caravans are likely to have the space, design capacity or energy supply for an electric washing machine – but don’t despair, you can still keep your clothes washed and odour-free a more traditional way with the Laundreez washing kit.
The kit is no more than a space-saving collapsible bag into which you place your dirty clothes, fill up with water and washing powder, and gently swash around until they appear clean enough.
The tableware you use when you go caravanning might have been chosen for its durability, unbreakability and lightness – but that inevitable plastic feel probably does little when it comes to conjuring up sophistication or fine-dining under a starry summer’s night.
Kampa may have come up with the ideal solution – melamine tableware that has all the light-weight durability you need, but which looks and feels every inch the genuine terracotta deal.
Just because you’re taking your holidays in a caravan doesn’t mean you have to forego that early-morning cup of freshly-brewed fine coffee.
The Cafflano Klassic range of all-in-one coffee makers is for the connoisseur.
Into just the one vertically-stacked gadget just add your favourite coffee beans and the ceramic grinder grinds them to your taste. Add water, and the coffee filters through an etched, stainless filter dripper, ready to pour from the machine itself – you can almost smell the aroma just from the description.
So, you thought you knew everything you’d need to know about static caravans – seen one, seen them all, you might be telling yourself.
So here are a few more than unusual variations on the theme that might help you think again about the possibilities of transforming the ordinary into something imaginative, exciting and eye-catching.
Like anything else that has been showered with lots of time, energy and expense, each of them is in need of adequate insurance – but regular static home insurance is likely to prove more than a challenge to your standard insurance provider, so you’ll need to search out a specialist broker who knows more than a thing or two about cover for caravans of every make, model and imagination.
One of the most recent flights of fancy to transform an otherwise ordinary static caravan took shape as a fully-fashioned pirate ship.
The interior looks every inch a privateer, with each room decked out with gnarled ropes, ripped sails hanging from the ceilings, treasure maps hanging on the walls and seating fashioned from casks and barrels (of what probably contained the ship’s rum rations).
A sophisticated sound system even pipes in authentic effects of whale noises and “songs”, the roar of cannon balls firing and the banter between the pirate crew members.
Pitched on a site in Filey, Yorkshire, this novel rebranding of the static caravan featured on Hull Live on the 17th of August 2018.
Grazing in new pastures
They have perhaps become a little commonplace by now, but the turning a traditional shepherd’s hut into a comfortable, modern and fully-equipped static caravan retains a certain charm.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron last year famously invested £25,000 on a shepherd’s hut conversion which he pitched in his Cotswold garden as a “writing studio”.
You don’t need to be a former MP or even an aspiring writer to own such a caravan, though, and the market in new-builds has taken off with such a flourish that you’ll probably find one whatever the depth of your pocket.
Arab royalty is rarely known for doing things by halves and Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, has shown just how that can be applied to static caravans too.
His take on the humble caravan is a millionth-scale version of the entire globe no less. It is three storeys high, has nine bathrooms, eight bedrooms and boasts four separate storage areas.
The drinks are on you
Strictly speaking, our final example – a caravan pub club – probably does not fit the definition of a static caravan, since it also doubles as a tourer with relative ease.
But the pitched roof, “chimney” and cottage-style windows, genuine pine flooring, furnishings made from Irish oak, antique pictures on the wall and the drinking memorabilia you’d find in any shebeen this is every inch a traditional Irish pub – and one that looks to stay put.
Static caravans come in all shapes and sizes, and some have given free rein to all the imagination and art of their owners’ desires – just don’t forget you’ll need to arrange specialist static caravan insurance.
For any owner of a touring caravan, insurance is likely to be a prudent precaution – you have invested a fair amount of your hard-earned cash in it, and adequate touring insurance cover ensures that your caravan is fully protected against all manner of theft, damage and financial loss.
So here are some FAQs to emerge from the touring caravan insurance reviews we have recently conducted here at Cover4Caravans.
Do I have to have touring caravan insurance?
When you are towing a caravan, the law does not require that you have separate touring caravan insurance.
The vehicle you are driving of course has a legal requirement for a minimum of third party insurance – and that cover typically extends to the caravan you are towing too.
But even if your motor insurance is upgraded to fully comprehensive cover, you are likely to find that it provides protection against third party risks only for your caravan – leaving the trailer completely vulnerable to fire, theft or accidental damage.
That is why separate, specialist touring caravan insurance is necessary.
What does it cover?
Touring caravan insurance ensures that your caravan is protected – whether it is parked on your driveway at home, stored elsewhere, being towed or pitched anywhere along the route of your current holiday.
It offers cover for both your caravan and its contents against theft and loss or damage from such potentially disastrous events as fire, storm damage, flooding, impacts (from other vehicles or falling objects), vandalism and theft.
The insurance may also incorporate public liability insurance indemnity against claims raised by someone who is injured or suffers property damage through some contact with your caravan.
How do policies differ?
Our touring caravan insurance reviews have also illustrated some important differences in the levels of protection offered by different insurers.
In the event of the worst coming to the worst and your caravan being totally written off in a major event – such as a fire, for example – a number of insurers offer to replace the caravan with an identical model as new, provided your insured ‘van was less than two years old, or less than five years old if you have been the sole owner since it was new.
Policies arranged through us here at Cover4Caravans, on the other hand, offer new for old replacement of any caravan that is less than five years old, regardless of the number of owners there may have been before you bought it.
Are any discounts offered on touring caravan insurance?
Responsible and careful caravan owners are more than likely to be members of a recognised caravan club – receiving regular tips and suggestions on enhancing security and maintaining your caravan in tiptop condition, for example.
Here at Cover4Caravans, therefore, our policies recognise the importance of club membership by granting a discount on the premiums members need to pay.
More specifically, our policies also recognise that caravans are at perhaps their most vulnerable when they are not in regular use and effectively put into storage for, say, the winter months.
A further discount on your premiums, therefore, is also available if you agree to store your caravan at one of the high-security sites recognised and registered with the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA).